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Tilford Cottage Garden


On a particular day in the recent past we were dodging deluges as we made our way to Tilford cottage garden, open with the National Gardens Scheme (NGS). This was the first NGS visit since we moved and the first one this year too. We were well prepared with coats and umbrellas because it was that funny pattern of rain showers that leaves the opposite carriageway in glorious sunshine while we have the wipers on full blast trying to see through a cloudburst.

Tilford Cottage Gardens is a two-acre garden that mixes gardens and arts. The garden itself is split into many distinct zones or rooms, there’s a herb garden, a zen garden, herbaceous border, meadow, vegetable plot and so on. Interspersed throughout are sculptures and glassworks. It makes for a very eclectic and unique garden.

To get an idea of what it’s like, here are some photos I took on that day, you can see the various artworks in their garden setting.

One of these days I’m hoping to have my garden open with the NGS. The previous garden was too small and could only be included in a group opening along with other gardens on the street, but we didn’t live in that sort of area. Looking at the state of the new garden at the moment, I’m several years away yet so I’ll have to keep working on it and then everyone can come and see me and write about my garden in their blogs!

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author & gardener

Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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lynngator 07/07/2014 - 6:29 pm

What a lovely day out Sunil, despite dodging the showers. I love the bench under the rose arch. Also noticed on the map there were a number of garden centres nearby. Were you tempted to stop at any? That’s one thing I miss about living in the UK, such a variety of garden shops available. Of course with so many to choose, from I could easily get in trouble!

Sunil 08/07/2014 - 5:31 pm

Hi Lynn, we seem to be surrounded by garden centres and nurseries here. So far, we have only managed to visit one and it took us four months to get round to doing it so at this rate, it will only take us three-and-a-bit years to see them all!

susan maclean 07/07/2014 - 7:29 pm

I am aiming for the “yellow book” too, Sunil…. maybe next year, as I have sort of got it now. Some pics should be up in the next week or so. Of course, it’s not several acres, here at chez Maclean…..just 100 feet from the house to the boundary, but still!

Sunil 08/07/2014 - 5:33 pm

Hi Mrs. Mac, ooh – that’s very exciting, I might just make it in for the 2050 edition at this rate, it’ll be amazing to see you listed in the Yellow Book, good luck, looking forward to seeing the pictures!

Alain 08/07/2014 - 1:52 am

Hi Sunil, You must have had a good day. In my experience, looking at such art is always stimulating, even the pieces we don’t like challenge us to figure out why we don’t and you come out with all sorts of new ideas.

Sunil 08/07/2014 - 5:40 pm

Hello Alain, there were all sorts of quirky pieces that it added a very personal touch to the garden and a sort of eclectic charm. I’m not terribly creative in that sense and I don’t think it will feature in the new garden, but I can appreciate it all the same. I would want to try growing clematis or something up the display pieces. It would be frowned upon.

gardeninacity 12/07/2014 - 6:51 am

That looks like a fascinating garden, I love the way the artwork and horticulture are combined.

Sunil 16/07/2014 - 5:39 pm

Hi Jason, I think this is the kind of garden that needs a few visits before one catches all the little art, nooks and crannies. I’m sure there were a few corners and pieces of art that we missed despite spending a few hours there.


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